About new year’s eve, I only remember about half of it. I guess that’s what happens when you mix champagne and beer and have a little, tiny stick for a body. What I do remember though is having an amazing time hanging out with bestie, Sam, in good ole Shorewood, Wisconsin at this amazing craft beer bar, Draft and Vessel. I remember that I rang in the new year feeling like 2017 can go suck it because it probably ranked about number 2 or number 3 on my list of worst years ever.
2017 was a year of trials and frustrations, of half insane, sleepless nights, feeling stressed in general and feeling stressed about my half insane sleepless nights. Ever go crazy even more because you can see that you’re going crazy? Yeah, that was 2017 for me. I can say, however, that it ended with the most happiness I had felt all year.
Being in Milwaukee for New Years was perfect because it felt like being home, well, home away from home (just one of the few). Being in Milwaukee showed me that I was exactly where I needed to be. I was able to see how much I had missed it and how much I wasn’t finished with it, but it also showed me how much I’m not yet finished with Paris. It showed me that the time I have left there is going to be worth it, and that Milwaukee will just welcome me with open arms when I get back.
Having this realization made me come to even more conclusions about what I want 2018 to look like. Everyone makes new year’s resolutions and almost every person fails at them, gives them up after only about a month at most. I usually am one of those people who doesn’t make new year’s resolutions because I am most definitely one of those people who doesn’t keep them and usually gives up. It’s usually because I hate the thoughts of feeling constrained by goals or ideas of goals that I feel I’m supposed to be reaching because of the pressures of “hey, it’s a new year. Here’s a chance to be that person you always thought you should be. The person that society pressures you to be. You can most definitely do all of this.” We all know that we set the bars too high for ourselves and then end up feeling like failures because we couldn’t reach these inane goals that we set for ourselves in the first place. Forget that.
Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with setting goals for yourself, having ambitions, and wanting to improve yourself to be a better version of you. But that’s what you need to focus on: being a better version of you, of who you already are. There’s no sense in trying to make goals that are completely opposite or nowhere near the range of who you are right now. Quit trying to fulfill goals that society sets aside for you and start setting goals that are within distance of your grasp. That will help you stay true to who you are and what you truly want for your life, because at the end of the day, it’s your life. Something 2017 has taught me, and it’s one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn, is that I care too much about what other people think of me and expect from me. I’ve spent so much of my life caring way too much about the expectations of other people and what ideals they have about me as a person, so much so that it has absolutely driven me to a breaking point. I, unfortunately, had to break into a million different pieces multiple times in order to figure out that. Such is life.
So, here are my realistic goals for 2018 that are for me and only for me and are set aside to improve who I am and want to be for my life:
- Give less fucks and accept responsibility: I’ve been reading this book that Sam gave me as a gift: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. In this book, he basically lays out the fact that it’s okay to be normal, that we aren’t that special, and that we are actually most of the time, wrong. This is excellent, because even though he lays some hard truths, I couldn’t help to realize that he’s completely right, and that what he was saying could be applied directly to me. I’ve had a long history of really bad relationships, and unfortunately, for the longest time, I played the victim game so hard. Even though the other person had a lot to do with our break-up in most cases, I was completely ignoring my responsibility in the situation. Something Manson lays out is that not everything is our fault, but dealing with those situations that happen to us is our responsibility. We are responsible for how we respond to them, despite where the fault lies. So, no, not everything was my fault in those relationships, but by not accepting responsibility for how I responded and playing the victim game, I was allowing my anxiety and my depression to win. I was allowing those people to further control my emotions and my mental well-being, way beyond when they should’ve been allowed to. I’m finally learning how to say well that sucks, but forget that and bye felicia. This logic can be applied in other situations too though, not just in relationships, and that’s what I intend to do.
- Be bold: Something great that goes along with not caring what others think is the ability to be bold. I’m so tired of allowing myself to be scared, or rather, letting my fear control my actions. Let’s be real, fear is a very healthy, normal, and even essential part of life. It keeps us from harm, but fear can also be irrational. As someone who suffers from general anxiety, I have fear about stupid shit that doesn’t even make any sense to have fear about. It’s in these moments that we have to ask ourselves: is this rational? Am I going to be harmed from this? Usually the answer is no. This doesn’t mean that if you have an inherent gut feeling about something or someone being off that you should ignore it, but it means being more aware of your feelings and assessing them properly. Being bold for me means taking risks in moments where I would otherwise not act. I consider myself an already pretty bold person. It takes balls to move across the ocean three times and kind of figure it out and make it up as you go. However, I have fear in situations that most people would never even think twice about it, like giving a guy your number because you think he’s cute. Granted in my case, I gave him my Facebook instead of my number because giving a guy your number in Milwaukee while you’re still living in Paris is difficult to do, and even though after a couple of messages he didn’t message me back, I’m super proud of myself for putting myself out there. I’ve never done that before. Before I was too scared of rejection, absolutely terrified of it. But I figured, why the hell not? What do I have to lose? After all, even though nothing came of it, I feel super confident and know that I can now be a little more vulnerable than I previously thought. Plus, I don’t exactly blame him. haha I mean, I do live across the ocean, in another country and won’t be back for another 7 months or so. I plan to be more bold than before, and when things don’t go as planned, it feels so good to say “Well, who cares? Moving on.” (Though, I’ll be real honest, I still struggle with doing that in every situation, but hey practice will eventually make perfect, right?)
- Explore more: First and foremost this covers travel. Travel has always been a passion of mine, and of course it’s going to continue being a part of my life. However, I want to make actual tangible travel goals this year, not just “oh if the opportunity arrises.” No, northern Spain, southern France, and northern Wisconsin are all on my list this year (still have to be practical). I also plan to explore more of Paris, especially because I most definitely live there and want to leave there feeling like I actually know the city to some extent. Exploring, though, does not end at physically exploring new places. It also means exploring myself. I used to always think that part of my issues with my relationships and moving so much was my lack of not knowing myself. I’ve always thought that I need “to find myself.” We all know that’s bullshit though. You can never find yourself because who you are is always changing. Your interests, your goals, your ambitions, your living and working situations, and your relationships are always changing. So, you are never just your one self. Instead, you are a variety of selves always evolving. I want to explore all of that. I want to keep exploring my interests and goals as they are changing. I want to keep exploring what I like and don’t like, what it actually means to not give a fuck, how to be bold in different situations, to learn more (not just in school but also on a personal level too. For example, sustainability, slam poetry, exercising, and cooking have all become strong interests that I’m starting to develop), and delve into my spirituality more.
So, that’s it. Those are my quote on quote new year’s resolutions. Nothing like “workout 3 days a week” or “eat more green veggies” or “write at least one blog post a week” made it to my list. These sorts of goals, though maybe good for some people, are too tangible for me, too constrained. I’m a bit of a rebel, always have been, so I need some goals that are not only more flexible but that can also be applied to a wide range of aspects of my life.
So, here I sit, enjoying some craft beer here at home in the States while I ponder the rest of my year to come before I fly back to Paris in two days to start the second half of my Parisian adventure with full force and curiosity.
I embolden you to put forth your own new year’s resolutions, but go easy on yourself. Don’t be ridiculous with your goals, and even if you don’t meet them, don’t hate yourself either. Don’t set yourself up for failure, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Be you, the ever-revolving you, the you who likes indie folk rock music as well as loves blasting Kesha when no one’s watching. There’s no shame in who you are, because let’s face it, you can only be you. You can’t be anyone else, and no one else can be you. Only you can do that. So philosophical I know. (note sarcasm).
Go travel my loves, but not just places. Travel your hearts, your minds, your souls.
Here’s to a new year! Cheers!
Bisous mes amis